BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on heavy rain storms moving across north Louisiana (all times local):
State officials say a total of three people have died in Louisiana in connection with severe weather hitting the state.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the updated death toll Thursday.
Officials late Wednesday evening said a 63-year-old man died when a car was swept off a flooded road.
Edwards did not give details of the updated death toll. But Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said a 22-year-old man and a 6-year-old girl in Ouachita Parish have also been confirmed dead.
Steele said the man apparently drowned Wednesday after the vehicle he was in was swept off a road. He said the girl died after her mother lost control of her car.
Warren Lee, from the Ouachita Parish coroner’s office, said the young girl’s accident happened Wednesday. She died Thursday.
Shawn Powell, his wife, and two children, ages 7 and 10, their dog and guinea pig left their home in the Pecan Grove subdivision early Thursday morning in the back of a National Guard truck.
Powell said he watch Bossier Parish sheriff’s deputy remove his neighbors across the street from their home in a boat Wednesday afternoon.
“At 2 a.m. (Thursday) as the water approached my house I knew it was time to go,” Powell said.
“As we were traveling out of the neighborhood, I didn’t realize how bad it was,” Powell said. “The water was up to roofs of homes and you could see the tops of cars.”
Powell, his family and the pets were taken to the Red Cross Shelter at the Bossier Civic Center.
“We brought with us a change of clothes and that’s all,” Powell said.
He said a good friend had offered them a place to stay until he can get back home when the water goes down.
The Louisiana National Guard is assisting local authorities in north Louisiana with high water rescues, which became necessary after the region was inundated with heavy rain.
Guard spokesman Rebekah Malone says guardsmen have evacuated 361 people from homes in Bossier, Ouachita and Morehouse parishes since Wednesday morning.
Malone said the Guard is using trucks that can travel though water 20 to 30 inches deep.
Besides the people rescued, Malone says guardsman have evacuated 70 dogs, 16 chickens and even a guinea pig.
Officials in Tennessee say schools are shutting down early and roads are closed in the western parts of the state to flooding caused by heavy rain.
Emergency management director Marty Clements in Madison County says county schools were scheduled be closed by 11 a.m. Thursday to allow parents and bus drivers to get children home safely in case flooding gets worse.
Clements said several roads are closed due to high water. No injuries have been reported.
Gibson County schools said classes were closing at 11 a.m. due to inclement weather.
The National Weather Service says 3 to 8 inches of rain has fallen in counties along the Mississippi River in West Tennessee and north Mississippi since late Tuesday. Another 3 to 5 inches of rain are possible Thursday and Friday in the region.
Dozens of people have taken up shelter at the Bossier Civic Center in northwest Louisiana, where heavy rain has forced evacuations and caused flash flooding for more than a day.
The Red Cross set up the shelter for people who left their homes in the Bossier City area.
Colleen Morgan, shelter manager, says about 50 people are in the shelter now and more are on the way from the area south of Bossier City, where several subdivision were cut off by high water.
Morgan says the Red Cross is providing food, a place to sleep and blankets for those at the center.
Morgan says a TV has been set up for those wanting to watch the news. A few first responders have dropped in for coffee and food.
Rain continued to pound northwest Louisiana on Friday, cutting off dozens of residences and causing the evacuation of several neighborhoods.
Lt. Bill Davis of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office says the road leading to an area just south of Bossier City is block by water in both directions. Bossier City is across the Red River from Shreveport.
Davis says the National Guard and sheriff’s deputies are using high water vehicles to bring out about 1,000 people Thursday morning. He says the residents are being brought to the Red River Travel Center, where they are being placed on buses and sent to the Bossier Civic Center, which has been set up to handle the evacuees.
Davis says another area taking on water is the Orchard subdivision, also south of Bossier City.
Southeast Louisiana is expected to get slammed by heavy rain and the possibility of severe storms Thursday evening into Friday morning.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Phil Grigsby in Slidell says the first line of heavy rain will contain severe weather in the form of high winds and a possible isolated tornado.
And Grigsby says that late Thursday night and continuing through Saturday, another system of heavy rain could bring rain totals of 7 to 11 inches, with some areas getting up to 14 inches.
The area is under a flash flood watch through Saturday.
Grigsby says forecaster will have better idea later Thursday on what areas will see the most rain and possible flooding.
The heavy rain continues move across northern Louisiana into the Monroe area.
Louisiana State Police Lt. Bobby Brinkerhoff says troopers and sheriff’s deputies have made multiple recuses from cars swept off the roads by fast moving water.
Brinkerhoff says roads closed by water Thursday morning would re-open once the water was gone.
South of the Shreveport-Bossier City area the heavy rains are also causing road closure in the Natchitoches area.
Heavy rainfall has prompted the closure of some schools and roads in southern Arkansas, and forecasters say the deluge will continue for the rest of the week.
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings and flash flood warnings for areas of the state that have been drenched by a stalled-out storm system. More than 6 inches of rain has already fallen in Monticello, Pine Bluff and Stuttgart this week, and the weather service says it will keep coming.
Forecasters say heavy rain is possible Thursday, especially in southeast Arkansas where widespread flash flooding has already occurred. Minor to moderate flooding is expected on some rivers as well.
Rain remains in the forecast until Saturday, and the weather service says severe storms are possible Sunday too.
By Thursday morning, officials in north Louisiana have evacuated 3,500 homes in Bossier City as a precaution as Red Chute Bayou approaches the top of its levee.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Jason Hansford says the bayou may top the levee or be breached.
Hansford say heavy rain continued across much of north Louisiana on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning with another 3 inches.
He says a weather spotter just north of Monroe reported 18.1 inches of rain since Tuesday night.
State police report several sections of Interstate 20 are closed from Bossier City to near Gibsland in northcentral Louisiana.
Three people drowned in flooding across Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.
A second round of rain early Thursday was hitting an already inundated north Louisiana, where flooding in some places was up to the rooftops and in others submerged cars, stranded families and forced evacuations.
Three people drowned in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.
Several Louisiana parishes have declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was sent in to help.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the order affecting Acadia, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, Desoto, East Carroll, Grant, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Union, Webster and West Carroll parishes after nearly a foot of rain fell Tuesday night and Wednesday.
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